Golf: Fresh challenge for HSBC Women's champ

Jang Ha Na, the third South Korean to win the HSBC Women's event, says the conditions in Singapore suit her well and hopes that the New Tanjong course will be to her liking.
Jang Ha Na, the third South Korean to win the HSBC Women's event, says the conditions in Singapore suit her well and hopes that the New Tanjong course will be to her liking.

She may have reigned supreme at this year's HSBC Women's Champions, setting a tournament record en route to victory but South Korean golfer Jang Ha Na faces a new challenge when she returns to defend her title next March.

The 24-year-old romped to a four-shot win with a record 19-under 269 at the Sentosa Golf Club's (SGC) Serapong Course.

Next year's March 2-5 event will be held at the newly renovated New Tanjong Course at SGC. It had previously been held at Tanah Merah Country Club's Garden Course (2008-2012) before moving to Serapong (2013-2016).

Jang confirmed her participation in the US$1.5 million (S$2.14 million) contest yesterday. The world No. 9 has three LPGA Tour titles this season, including her triumph in Singapore.

She become the third Korean after Shin Ji Yai (2009) and Park In Bee (2015) to win the HSBC event and famously celebrated with a Beyonce-inspired dance on the 18th green.

Jang said: "It was such a big title to win and amazing to have my name on the trophy alongside so many great champions and I can't wait to return as the defending champion.

"The conditions in Singapore suit me very well and I am hoping the New Tanjong course will suit my game just as much as Serapong did."

Redeveloped at a cost of $32 million, the par-72, 6,479m New Tanjong layout (from championship tees) promises to offer a fresh challenge to the elite field.

It will progressively open for play from Saturday with a full opening scheduled for next February.

SGC president Low Teo Ping noted: "It will be intriguing to see how the world's best women take on the new challenges of this course and we look forward to welcoming them back in a few months' time."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2016, with the headline 'Fresh challenge for HSBC Women's champ'. Print Edition | Subscribe